But all the time Achilles sat in wrath beside his ships; he went not to the war, nor yet to the assembly, but sat fretting in his heart, because he longed for the cry of the battle.
THE FIGHT BETWEEN PARIS AND MENELAUS
By Walter C. Perry
In obedience to the summons of their leaders, the great host of the Achaians assembled on the plain of the flowing river Scamander, innumerable as the leaves and flowers in the season of spring. And in the midst of them stood the great ruler, Agamemnon: his head and eyes like those of Loud-thundering Zeus; his waist like that of the Man-slaying Mars; and with a breast like that of Neptune, the Ruler of the Sea. As the mail-clad Argives marched on, and rushed across the plain, the earth groaned beneath them.
Now AEgis-bearing Zeus sent his messenger, Iris, to the assembly of the Trojans, with the voice of Polites, son of Priam, their sentinel at Priam’s gate, and spake thus to Hector: “This is no time for idle words, for stern war is already upon you. But to thee, O Hector, do I especially speak; and do thou obey my voice! As thou hast many allies, of diverse nations and tongues, let each chief marshal and command his own people, and lead them forth to war.”
And the glorious Hector knew the voice of the messenger, and hastened to obey. He straightway dissolved the assembly. The gates of Troy were then thrown open, and the Trojan host rushed forth, with a mighty din. The blameless Hector, with his glancing helmet, was foremost of all, and led the bravest and strongest of the men; AEneas, son of the goddess Aphrodite, or Venus, born amidst the peaks of Ida, led the Dardans; and of the other leaders of the allies, the most famous were Sarpedon, son of Zeus, and blameless Glaucus, who led the Lycians, from distant Lycia, by the swift-eddying Xanthus.
And, as the countless hosts advanced, to meet each other in deadly conflict, the Trojans marched with noisy shouts, like the clamor of the cranes, when they fly to the streams of Oceanus, in the early morning, screaming, and bringing death and destruction to the Pigmy men; but the Achaieans came on in silence, breathing dauntless courage.
But when they came near to each other, the goodly Paris went before the front rank of the Trojans, and brandished his spear, and challenged all the Argive chiefs to single combat. When the warlike Menelaus, whom Paris had so deeply wronged by carrying off his wife, the beautiful Helen, saw Paris there, he was glad, thinking that he should now punish the false traitor for his wickedness. So he leaped from his chariot, in his clanging armor, and advanced to meet the challenger. And Paris saw him; and pale fear got hold of him, like to a man who has trodden on a serpent, in a wooded valley among the mountains; and he shrank back among the lordly Trojans.